VirginiaWhen you begin looking for houses of historical significance, especially on the week of Thanksgiving, you often turn to the places where the country was born. For this week’s historical shelter, we found a Virginia home owned by a Revolutionary War soldier turned inn owner, with ties to a founding father and future president.

The Green Hill House, located in Salem, Virginia, was built in 1776. But the land it sits on was granted to William Walton in 1774, by none other than the Governor of Virginia — Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson granted 1,200 acres along the Roanoke River in what would eventually be Salem to Walton, who built the brick home we’re featuring this week. About 10 years later, Walton obtained a license to open an inn, and became a popular stopover for people heading to what would become the Louisiana Territories.

It is rumored that Jefferson frequented Green Hill House a few times, too.

By 1845, Walton sold the home to his son-in-law, Robert Craig — who was a U.S. congressman from 1829 to 1841. Craig is credited with giving the property its current name.

Nowadays, the property sits adjacent to Green Hill Park, which was once part of the original 1,200 acres in the land grant.

The home has been well-maintained and has kept in mind its historical provenance with the updates you see. The main floor boasts a grand ballroom with fireplaces and three chandeliers, a full bathroom, a formal dining room, a family room, and cathedral ceilings in the now-gourmet kitchen and hearth room — perfect spaces for a family Thanksgiving for any future owner.

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galvestonIt’s not often that the home of what many would consider to be Texas retail royalty comes up for sale — which is why this week’s historical shelter in Galveston immediately caught our attention.

The Victorian Robert I. Cohen built in 1896 is a half mile from the beach and a little more than a mile to the Strand.

If Cohen’s name doesn’t sound familiar, perhaps the store he bought will. In 1917, Pat and James Foley sold their Houston store, Foley Brothers, to Robert, who then turned the day-to-day running of the dry goods store to his son George, who then grew sales to almost $1 million by 1919.

Foley Brothers Store, 1906, Historic Houston Photographs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 10, 2018.

By 1922, the Cohen’s moved the store to a three-story building on Main Street in Houston, becoming the city’s largest department store. (more…)

Saint AugustineCatch us, we’re swooning. This week’s historical shelter in Saint Augustine, Florida, is a magnificent marriage of vintage and updated, ably combining the old-world craftsmanship you’d expect of an 1887 Queen Anne Victorian in the nation’s oldest city with the design sensibilities needed to navigate 2018.

The four-bedroom, four-bath Hibbard House at 272 St. George is located just south of the Plaza de la Constitucion, surrounded by more historical homes between the Matanzas River and Lake Maria Sanchez.

The plaza is the central park of downtown Saint Augustine and has been a central part of the town since 1573 when it was first designed by Spanish Royal Ordinance, which dictated that it be laid out in a rectangular shape according to the compass points, with the length to be 1 ½ times the width. It’s also home to a pre-1700s well that has been designated as an American Water Landmark.

The public market that the plaza is home to has existed since the 1500s, and is still in use by local vendors today.

Entertainment opportunities abound, with the shopping and dining of downtown Saint Augustine nearby, as well as the City Marina on the Intracoastal Waterway a few blocks to the east of the neighborhood, and the beaches of Anastasia State Park a short drive away.

And as much as this home stuns from the curb, inside, it’s even better. It’s been restored with an eye to maintaining its rich history, including the rich woodwork throughout the home, said listing agent Janie Coffey with Compass. (more…)

LockhartIf you know anything about Texas, you know that barbecue is nearly a religion. And if you know anything about barbecue in Texas, you also know that Lockhart is one of the places where many barbecue lovers will insist you need to make at least one trek in your lifetime.

Which is why we got excited about this Tudor-style mansion with plenty of room for family retreats in the land of barbecue. Because not only is Lockhart a great place for great food, but it’s also quite close to lots of amazing day trips steeped in Texas culture and history. (more…)

Villa MarreIn the Candy’s Media Group family, there’s at least one person with a special place in her heart for the sitcom Designing Women (maybe specifically, Julia Sugarbaker, but that’s neither here nor there). So that one person may have gotten very excited when the historic Villa Marre in Little Rock went on the market.

Why? Because Villa Marre, in addition to being a grand historic mansion, is also the exterior that stood in for the Atlanta mansion the Sugarbakers worked in.

Indeed, a few years ago Southern Living shot a video of the home in part because of its ties to the show.

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Vieux Carre It’s difficult to find an area more steeped in history — and more fun at the same time — than the Vieux Carre (or you know, French Quarter) of New Orleans.

Which is why we fairly screamed when we saw this absolute charmer of a home at the edge of the quarter, just a couple blocks from Rampart Street. In other words, close enough to enjoy the Vieux Carre entertainment, but far enough away that you can still describe the home as having a tranquil setting.

This 1897 3-bay Victorian at 915 Dauphine St. boasts four bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths in about 3,100 square feet of living space.

Gloriously maintained and obviously loved living space, we might add.

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Whether you’re looking for that quiet weekend home for play after your workweek, or a great potential second home that has some income prospects as well via Airbnb, this week’s historical shelter in Waxahachie is an opportunity to get an adorable home at a great price point, with plenty of designer upgrades.

 

And we say designer, we mean it. Award-winning interior designer Courtney Warren and her husband Joel bought this home to create a homey, yet luxurious retreat with the comforts of big city living (restaurants, shopping, entertainment) but the quiet of the small town.

“It’s part of the Metroplex, but it feels so far removed,” Warren said about the town. “It’s so nice to get away to a slower pace.”

In recent vacation home surveys from the National Association of Realtors, buyers say the ideal vacation home is located within a two-hour drive of their primary residence. Waxahachie is roughly a 30 to 40-minute drive.

“Waxahachie is one of Dallas’ best-kept secrets,” Warren said. “It’s still so charming. We have a lot of growth, and it’s an easy commute.”

Warren said it took about three months to bring the home from drab and dated to updated and charming.

“In the beginning, you can’t even imagine what it could be, and when it’s finished, you can’t even remember how bad it was,” she said.

Photos courtesy Courtney Warren

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PonderosaIf you’re of a certain age, or your parents or grandparents are of a certain age and were TV western aficionados, you can probably readily identify the theme song to “Bonanza” — as well as its iconic Ponderosa ranch, home to the Cartwright family.

But what many don’t know is that Lorne Greene, who played patriarch Ben Cartwright, loved the layout and design of the ranch-style (duh) home his alter ego lived in so much that he had a replica built for his own home, located in the Apache Country Club in Mesa, Arizona.

He and his wife, Nancy, lived in the home for several years, enjoying almost 325 feet of golf course frontage. (more…)